Monday, November 20, 2006


Ain't that the truth...

"The day I listen to a New Englander’s takes on college football is the day I listen to a Parisian hooker talk about class."

- Matt of the Bourbon Boys

This gets my "ain't that the truth" of the day. All AP and Harris pollsters should be from Dixie, for the simple reason that we can see that a conference with only two teams in it doesn't deserve both National Championship Game slots.

It might not matter, though. USC, Michigan, Notre Dame - you couldn't make one competent defense out of the three teams combined. Ohio State will beat any of them because they can't be beat in a track meet-type game. Someone with actual defense, on the other hand...

The media conspiracy that killed Auburn's hopes two years ago has its eyes on Florida and Arkansas this year. Neither team helped itself this past weekend (the Catamounts?!?! C'mon Gators...), but if Florida stomps the Criminoles and then beats Arkansas, I fail to see how a team that played that kind of schedule doesn't make the National Championship Game.

And if not them, then USC. Michigan had it's chance in the two actual games it played this year, and it split 'em. That's not good enough when your third toughest game might have been Vanderbilt.

As a Vol fan, though, I am looking forward to watching Tennessee play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on December 3oth. Of course, I will be watching it from Chicago (ESPNZone, maybe?), but that should be fun, nonetheless.

I wouldn't exactly call Iowa and Penn State pushovers...
Dave -

I've watched both teams play numerous times this year, and I think pushover might be too kind.


By that logic, Tennessee has had the ultimate pushover schedule: Marshall (pushover), Memphis (pushover), South Carolina (pushover), Vandy (pushover), and unless something is terribly wrong next week, Kentucky should also be a real pushover. Alabama is terrible this year and should have been a pushover, but I'll chalk that one up to being the great old rivalry that it is, and in future years Bama won't be a pushover.

Yet in spite of the massive number of weaklings on Tennessee's schedule, I would be the first to argue that had they run the table they should play in Tempe for the national championship. Why? Well, they also played Florida, LSU, then #10 Georgia, and Arkansas. I won't argue the overall superiority of the SEC (because I believe that to be an established fact, same as "the sun comes up in the morning.")

Similarly, you simply can't say that a Big Ten schedule is totally filled with pushovers. While Michigan State, Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, and Northwestern are all medeocre to bad, Penn State (8-4) has had a decent season, while Iowa has underperformed, but they beat 8-4 Perdue. It is also important to remember the teams Ohio State did not play this year that they would have played before the Big Ten expanded-Wisconsin (11-1) is hardly a weakling, Perdue (8-4) has had a good year. This year Ohio State played neither one because of the alternating scheduling in the Big Ten-one reason the Big Ten needs a 12th team.

All of this discussion about schedules has me wanting to do an entry about college football scheduling later in the week!

Yet you wouldn't find me arguing th
Dave -

1) Marshall and Memphis were awful. No question.

2) I wouldn't talk about Vandy. UT pounded them, but Michigan was sweating their game against the Commodorks all the way to the whistle.

3) Wanna talk about Ball State? They were only 8 yards from beating Michigan just a few weeks back.

4) South Carolina is bowl eligible and would have beaten Florida if they could convert kicks. Plus, they would be 4th in the Big 10, so that ain't no cupcake.

5) Kentucky is also bowl eligible and tied for 2nd in the SEC East. Their win over UGA is certainly more notable than anything Iowa or Penn State did this year.

6) Iowa lost their last 5 Big 10 games. They should have to sit in their pink locker rooms in disgrace.

7) I watched Saturday's Penn State game against Michigan State. Both teams should be banned from 2007 play for that pathetic excuse for football.

8) Purdue is the worst 8-4 team in the history of college football.

9) Wisconsin isn't a bad team, but who knows how good they are? Cupcake sceduling does that.

I am no USC fan, but they should call in Jesse Jackson if that team with no defense from Ann Arbor gets to play in Tempe.


Michigan/Vandy/Ball State;
I don't underestimate Vanderbilt's capacity to play the spoiler-they beat Tennessee last year, after all (yes, I know last year was an exceptionally bad year for Tennessee) and are known to give teams nausea now and again. But all in all, Vandy is not what I would call tough competition.

"Bowl eligible" South Carolina is 3-5 in conference play. They may be eligible but there is a chance that either they or Bama may not go to a bowl game. Alabama is 2-6 in conference play, as you pointed out. If either does go to a Bowl, such stellar games as the Motor City Bowl are possibilities. On top of that, both Bama and SC had nonconference schedules that make even the softest critic laugh.

Georgia lost to Vandy, and Georgia just plain sucks this year, so UK beating Georgia may not have been as big a deal as people in Lexington think, neither is UK being Bowl eligible considering how their scheduled opponents have also done. Of course, it is big in Lexington because the Kentucky program is JUST THAT BAD. They could go to the Toilet Bowl and that would be major news.

A MAC team giving anyone trouble is not news to anyone who knows anything about MAC football. The fact that Ball State gave Michigan all they could handle was no surprise to me, because I am very familiar with just how tough MAC teams can be-there is a reason that conference is sometimes called "the cradle of coaches," because many great coaches got their start coaching in the MAC. The MAC may be filled with small schools, but the quality of football in that conference is mighty.

One reason we may never see a true playoff in college football (which is a real shame) is the fact that a small school may embarrass the big boys. If it ever happened, I'd bet the ranch it would be a school from the MAC.
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